SUNRISE (CBSMiami) – On Friday night, the Jonas Brothers took the stage at the BB&T Center in Sunrise. In less than two weeks, President Donald Trump will be the headliner at the arena.
President Trump will hold a campaign rally in South Florida on Tuesday, November 26, just two days before Thanksgiving.
Charles Zelden, professor of history and political science at Nova Southeastern University, said he believes the president’s visit boils down to politics and convenience.
Zelden said Trump usually spends Thanksgiving at Mar-A-Lago, so it makes sense to hold a rally in his backyard.
Zelden also said there’s a political necessity for Trump as he runs for re-election.
“He has to win Florida,” Zelden said. “Without Florida, Trump cannot win re-election. There is no path for him to win a majority in the Electoral College without the 29 electoral votes from Florida.”
Zelden said there’s a calculated reason to hold a rally in heavily Democratic Broward County, rather than a reliably Republican stronghold in the state.
“If he can get a big crowd in Broward County, the most Democratic county in Florida, well, that shows something,” Zelden said. “It’s more symbolic how this plays out.”
In 2016, Trump lost handily to Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties. But Zelden said Trump’s strategy in Florida in 2020 will likely be to minimize his losses in South Florida and turn out his supporters in other Republican-leaning areas of Florida.
“If he can get every South Florida Republican to vote for him, it means with the other votes around the state, he can win,” Zelden said. “If they don’t show up to vote in South Florida, it may not be enough.”
Trump recently changed his permanent residence from New York to Florida, so this will be his first major campaign rally of the 2020 election cycle close to home.
Zelden believes Florida, and specifically South Florida, will likely see lots of the president in the lead-up to the presidential election next November.
The rally will be general admission. Doors open at 3 p.m. and it starts at 7 p.m.